The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

July 30, 2013

Sippin' & stompin': First-ever grade stomp event held at Sabor a Pasion

Proceeds benefit volunteer fire departments

PALESTINE — In the classic 1950’s television show “I Love Lucy,” Lucy Ricardo (played by Lucille Ball) inadvertently ends up in a vineyard where she and an assortment of Italian-speaking women crush grapes with their bare feet — with her usual hilarious antics and facial expressions that made her a comedic legend.

On Saturday, a group of five ladies dressed up like Lucille Ball in that episode for a look-alike contest and several others of all ages enjoyed stepping into a galvanized tub filled with grapes for Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro inaugural Charity Grape Stomp.

“It went really, really well. We had a good turnout all day and had great groups playing music,” Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro owner and chef Simon Webster said. “The evening ended with everyone dancing in the vineyards.”

The Grape Stomp was the final event in Sabor a Pasion’s Harvest Week celebration, which coincided with the City of Palestine’s 12 Day of Christmas in July festivities.

The event benefited the Montalba and Elmwood volunteer fire departments as Webster’s thank you to the VFDs for saving his property during the wildfires that burned thousands of acres in the area in 2011.

“We are going to do this annually to raise money for the Montalba and Elmwood volunteer fire departments,” Webster said.

Local business owner Linda Dickens was one of the first people to step her feet into the tub of grapes.

“It was wonderful slipping and sliding while the grapes were between my toes,” Dickens joked about her experience. “The whole week of Christmas in July in Palestine has been great and it was a good start to bringing more business to downtown Palestine.”

Julie and David Carmichael of Woodsboro were in Palestine for a mini-vacation to visit family. Several people suggested they attend the Grape Stomp while in town.

“I’ve only seen (grape stomping) on ‘I Love Lucy’ show, so we thought we would check it out. It was fun,” Julie Carmichael said, even though she stepped on a bee while stomping the grapes. To commemorate their experience, they purchased a t-shirt with their grape-stained footprints.

They planned to finish their evening in Palestine at Red Fire Grille, as David Carmichael is the brother of Dawn Mailloux, wife of Red Fire Grille’s executive chef Christian Mailloux.

“It will be pretty cool wearing the t-shirt and sharing the story of how each of our footprints were made on it,” Julie Carmichael said.

One of the youngest adventurers to step her bare feet in the tub of grapes was 15-month-old Chloe Costlow, twin daughter of Traci and John Costlow.

“We’ve known Simon for a while, living out here on (CR) 404. We have come over here from time to time to see how they’ve grown and have helped pick the grapes,” Traci Costlow said.

Throughout the whole day and evening, about 150 people attended the Charity Grape Stomp, as the sun set on the hill behind the vineyard.

“People at first were a little scared to stomp on the grapes, because they weren’t sure what it was going to feel like, but then they realized it wasn’t that bad after all. It worked well and even little kids were doing it,” Webster said.

The University of Texas at Tyler Palestine nursing student Amber Scheppler, 30, of Montalba, won first place in the “I Love Lucy” Grape Stomp Look-alike Contest.

“Me and my friend (Rebecca Couch of LaRue) saw the advertisement and decided to come out. We love wine and have always wanted to stomp grapes,” Scheppler said. “We looked at the episodes and found a few places to go to get the clothing. We need a break from school and thought it would be a fun thing to do. We decided if we won, we would split the prize with each other.”

Winning first place, Scheppler won dinner for two — for her and her friend — at Sabor a Pasion and a special “I Love Lucy” wine glass.

“With my hair color, I had an unfair advantage. I’m glad other people dressed up too. It was a lot of fun,” the strawberry-blonde Scheppler said.

Donna Flynt of Frankston won second place.

“I has fun shopping for the contest. I even died my hair for the Grape Stomp,” Flynt said.

Dixie Dorsett, who had Lucille Ball’s facial and body expressions down pat for the contest, came in third place out of the five contestants.

“It was wonderful, very fun,” Dorsett said.

Webster expressed his gratitude to those who participated in the contest.

“I think they put a lot of effort into it and made it a lot of fun,” Webster said.

Music was provided for the day by the Fence Post Pickers, acoustic guitarist Alex Graser; and Matt James and Kenneth Irwin from Blacktop Mojo.

Some of the vendors included Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q, Bon Appetit, Granny Muffin Wines, Sweet Dreams Winery and Go Texan.

Text Only
Local Scene